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MICA Announces New Faculty Members, Special Contract Appointments

MICA announces the appointments of new full-time faculty members who have joined the art and design College’s world-renowned roster of educators during the 2008-09 academic year.

Posted 09.26.08 by MICA Media Relations

Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) announces the appointments of new full-time faculty members who have joined the art and design College's world-renowned roster of educators during the 2008-09 academic year. They include: Dr. Jenny Carson, art history; Daniel D'Oca, art history; Kristine Woods, fiber; Jason Sloan, foundation; Jenna Frye, foundation; Allan Comport, illustration; Paul Jaskunas, language, literature & culture; Jennifer Wallace, language, literature & culture; Dr. Michael Sizer, language, literature & culture; Patricia Cronin, painting; Nate Larson, photography; and Colette Veasey-Cullors, photography. The new graduate faculty members are: Stacey McKenna, Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT); Dr. John Penny, Summer MFA in Studio Art (MFAST); Beth Thomas, MAT/Master of Arts in Art Education ( MAEE); and Shyla Rao, MAT and five-year combined BFA/MAT program.

Undergraduate faculty

Jenny Carson has been an adjunct art history instructor at MICA since 1995. She received a BFA from University of Southwestern Louisiana, master's of art history from University of Massachusetts, and doctorate degree from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Carson is also an art history instructor at Latin American Youth Center in Washington, D.C. She has received many scholarships, including: research fellow in American art at Corcoran Gallery of Art, John Rewald Dissertation Fellowship, and the Kenneth E. and Dorothy V. Hill Fellowship. In February, Carson will co-chair the "Modeled, Cast or Carved: Re-evaluating Sculptural Reproductions for the Baroque to the Modern Era" session at the 97th annual conference of the College Art Association.

Daniel D'Oca is principal and co-founder of Interboro Partners, a New York-based architecture, planning, and research firm. With Interboro, D'Oca won the New Practices Award from the AIA New York Chapter in 2006 and the Architectural League's Young Architects Award in 2005. He is also the co-founder of the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based Metropolitan Exchange, a non-profit research cooperative whose mission is to broaden the local architecture and planning discourse by sponsoring lectures, film screenings, exhibitions, and research initiatives. Since 2005, he has taught urban history and theory at MICA. Previously, he worked as a planner for the New York City Department of City Planning and slab Architects. He received a BA in philosophy from Bard College in 1998 and a master's degree in urban planning from Harvard Design School in 2002. D'Oca's current research includes an investigation into the nature of the contemporary American community for the 2009 International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam as well as an ongoing study of "bottom-up" responses to depopulation and disinvestment in Detroit.

Kristine Woods' art practice is collaborative and moves across media to serve her interest in the relationship between the built environment and the socio-political concerns that it creates. Her work is informed by her history in performance, her teaching, and by 23 years as a gynecological teaching associate. Woods, who has exhibited nationally, is a recipient with MICA faculty member Susie Brandt of a 2008 Creative Capital Foundation grant for their collaborative project, Rag and Bone. Woods received a BA from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1990, and an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2002. Woods, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., has been teaching in MICA's Fiber department on a special contract since 2006.

New media artist Jason Sloan explores various aspects of spirituality and its connection to life, death, memory, religion, and our transitory time on earth. Through his performances, installations, audio environments, video work, network actions, and sound recordings, he examines the need for transcendence beyond the body through a vehicle of visual ritual and aural stimulation. In 2002, Sloan co-founded SLO.BOR Media, which is primarily a record label, but focuses on a variety of media and forms of distribution. The firm is also concerned with packaging, design, new media, and conceptual art. Sloan received a BFA from Edinboro University in 1996 and MFA from Towson University in 1999. A recent recipient of a Maryland State Arts Council's Individual Artist Award, Sloan's performance, installations, network and video works have been exhibited internationally. His sound works have been released on various labels and can also be heard on numerous international radio programs. He has been teaching at MICA in the Foundation and Interactive Media departments for three years, two of which have been full-time special contracts.

Jenna Frye '04, '05 is an interdisciplinary artist and designer who balances commercial work as a graphic designer with work as a digital art educator. Her work for the Maryland State Department of Education has earned several awards from the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA) as well as acclaim from local and state legislature. Most of her personal work involves discourses on or about the body, speaking to issues of abundance, design standards, and the culturally changing idea of the "self." Through studies of pop-culture iconography and media ideology, Frye creates narrative works that express her frustration with the politics of American bodies and the media-influenced development of identity. She holds a BS in psychology from University of Mary Washington as well as an MA/MFA in digital art and sculpture from MICA.

Illustration faculty member Allan Comport, who has worked with many notable illustrators and photographers to a wide variety of ad agencies, design firms, magazines, newspapers, publishers and corporations, has been a frequent speaker on the business of illustration and marketing of artists. He has been a member of the Illustrators Club of Washington, Maryland and Virginia; SPAR, and the Graphic Artists Guild. Comport has been a past president of Tampa Bay Creative Club, and member of Tampa Bay Advertising Federation. Prior to his full-time appointment, Comport was on a special one-year contract at MICA, where he helped Chair Whitney Sherman enhance the professional development component of the Illustration department. He holds a BA in education and an MA in counseling.

Paul Jaskunas earned his BA in English from Oberlin College in 1994 and his MFA from Cornell University. A recent recipient of a Fulbright fellowship and grant from the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, he has written for Chicago Tribune, The American Lawyer, Commonweal, and other publications. His novel, Hidden, was published by Simon & Schuster's Free Press in July 2004. This book won the Friends of American Writers Award in 2005 and was named by Amazon editors as one of the 50 best books of 2004. Jaskunas also received the Constance Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts Individual Artist Grant. He has worked as a part-time public relations consultant in the Washington, D.C. area, independent reporter in Vilnius, Lithuania, and staff reporter and assistant editor for The American Lawyer Magazine in New York City.

Jennifer Wallace teaches poetry, academic writing and ecology at MICA. She is a Foundation Program advisor and coordinates the Language, Literature and Culture Minors Program. Wallace has worked as an urban planner, naturalist, and environmental educator, and as a writer and editor for travel magazines, literary journals, educational films, and textbooks. In 2005 she founded toadlily press with three other poets. Their first book, desire path, was published in May 2005. Wallace collaborated with a sculptor, a lyricist, and a composer on Psalms of Water and Stone, which was performed in June 2003. She is currently collaborating with vendors at Baltimore's 32nd Street Farmers Market on a cookbook/literary documentary. Her manuscript-in-progress, Monkeytown, is a historical fiction in verse loosely based on the 1925 Scopes trial regarding the teaching of evolution in public schools. Before coming to MICA in 2001 on a split teaching/staff appointment, Wallace was assistant director of the Graduate Writing Program at Sarah Lawrence College, where she continues to work with MFA students and participants of the SLC Summer Writers' Conference. She has taught writing and environmental education at Purchase College and Manhattanville College in New York and, for six years, directed the writing workshops (sponsored by Sarah Lawrence College) at the Westchester County Jail.

Michael Sizer comes to MICA from the University of Minnesota, where he earned his doctorate in medieval history in 2008, passing with distinction. In his graduate studies, he also studied at the Ecole des Chartes at the Sorbonne in Paris. Sizer's dissertation, "Making Revolution Medieval: Revolt and Political Culture in Fifteenth-Century Paris," re-evaluates the culture and meaning of late medieval social conflict by focusing on the 1413 Cabochien revolt in Paris. His broader research interests include history, interdisciplinary studies of literature and ideas, urban history, French history, the history of crime, world history, and the history of revolution. Sizer has taught at the University of Minnesota, Marymount University, and two classes as an adjunct at MICA last year. Prior to attending graduate school, Mike worked in a non-profit organization devoted to grass roots community beautification and historical preservation initiatives.

Patricia Cronin is a New York City-based conceptual artist who manipulates and reinvigorates traditional art historical forms to question contemporary issues of sexuality, gender, and class. Her paintings, sculptures, and installations have been exhibited extensively in the United States and Italy including solo exhibitions at Brent Sikkema Gallery and Deitch Projects, New York. Cronin's work has been critically acclaimed in numerous publications including: The New York Times, The New Yorker, Artforum, and Art in America. Cronin is the recipient of a 2001 Grand Arts Artist Grant, two Pollock-Krasner grants, the 2006-2007 John Armstrong Chaloner/Jacob H. Lazarus-Metropolitan Museum of Art Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy in Rome, the New York Foundation for the Arts artist grant's 2007 Deutsche Bank Fellow, and most recently a Louis Comfort Tiffany Artist Fellowship. She has held teaching positions at Yale University, Columbia University, School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, Brooklyn College of The City University of New York, and MICA. Her first book, The Zenobia Scandal, will be published in early 2009 by zing books and included with issue No. 22 of zingmagazine.

Nate Larson's photographic work uses visual and textual narrative to explore the way that we construct meaning in contemporary culture through the lenses of religion, consumer behavior, and secular mythologies. His stories weave tales of ordinary days gone peculiar, obsessive methods of analysis, and insignificant objects that suddenly take on extraordinary significance. Through this darkly humorous storytelling, he dissects the line between belief and skepticism, while examining ideas of personal truth and common misperceptions surrounding photographic documents. Larson's artwork has been widely exhibited across the U.S. and internationally. His work has been written about in numerous publications, including The New York Times. His photo works are included in the MPP Collection of the Museum of Contemporary Photography, the artist book collection of The Banff Centre, McHenry County College, and The Center for Photography at Woodstock. He has received grant support from the Ultimate Eye Foundation, Visual Studies Workshop, The Banff Centre, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Illinois Arts Council. Larson earned a BA with distinction from Purdue University in 2000 and MFA from Ohio State University in 2002.

Photography faculty member Colette Veasey-Cullors '96 received her BMA in photography from the University of Houston in 1992 and her MFA in photography from MICA in 1996. Veasey-Cullors was previously an associate professor of art and photography area coordinator at Howard University. Prior to teaching at Howard, she was an adjunct instructor in photography at MICA. Veasey-Cullors has exhibited work at California African American Museum in Los Angeles, The African American Museum in Philadelphia, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Glassell School of Art in Houston, and Chattanooga African American Museum in Chattanooga, Tenn. Her work is in included in several private collections in the United States and has been featured in Black: A Celebration of a Culture and the forthcoming Saturday Night/Sunday Morning, both by Deborah Willis, Ph.D.

Graduate faculty

Stacey McKenna '00 is a painter and art educator who has been a college studio art instructor for nearly 15 years, during which time she has taught more than 60 courses in painting, drawing, design, and life drawing. For eight years McKenna was the visual arts department chair for a large, suburban high school, the accomplishments for which earned her, her department and students, national and regional recognition. In addition to making numerous presentations at national and regional art education conferences, McKenna has curated exhibitions, worked in museum education, served as a visual arts curriculum consultant, and published articles based on her research. She holds a BA in fine arts and history from Randolph-Macon College, an MFA in painting from Towson University, and a MAT from MICA.

John E. Penny has taught sculpture, drawing, fine art, and theoretical studies in Australia, Great Britain, and the United States. He completed an MFA in sculpture at Ohio State University after graduating from Maidstone College of Art in Great Britain. In 2003, Penny received a doctorate degree in theoretical studies from the University of Leeds in Great Britain. Since 1974, he has exhibited work in Australia and Great Britain, and recent work has been shown in Baltimore. Occasional writings have been published in Australia, Great Britain, and the U.S.

Beth Thomas received a BA in art education from University of Cincinnati in 1992, an MA in integrated teaching and learning from The Ohio State University in 2002, and is expected to complete her doctorate in art education from The Ohio State University in December. In 2002, she received the Fulbright Memorial Fund Fellowship and Ashland Golden Apple Award for Teaching Excellence. Thomas served as a visual art instructor for Marion City Schools in Marion, Ohio, from 1994-2008. She has previously taught courses at The Ohio State University and MICA.

Shyla Rao '96, '98 is an artist-educator, mentor, teacher trainer, and curriculum developer. She has worked with Baltimore's Department of Juvenile Services, after-school arts programs, and with MICA's Center for Art Education and Continuing Studies Young People's Studios. Rao strives to celebrate the complexity of human nature through her sculptural work and within her multi-sensory approaches to teaching. A MICA graduate, Rao received a BFA in ceramics in 1996 and an MAT in 1998.

MICA's new undergraduate faculty for 2008-09 includes some educators with special contract assignments. They are: Adelaide Paul, ceramics; Pamela Phatsimo Sunstrum, foundation; Amy Peterson, language, literature & culture; and Amy Eisner, language, literature & culture.

In addition, the following full-time faculty members joined the MICA community during the 2007-08 academic year: David East, ceramics; Renee Rendine, general fine art; Zvezdana Rogic, graphic design; Lili Maya, graphic design; Brockett Horne, graphic design faculty and co-chair; Alain Corbel, illustration; Sarah Doherty, interdisciplinary sculpture; Benjamin Luzzatto, interdisciplinary sculpture; Saul Myers, language, literature & culture; Fabienne Lasserre, painting; Bob Salazar, painting; Regina DeLuise, photography; and Nadia Hironaka, video.


Founded in 1826, Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) is the oldest continuously degree-granting college of art and design in the nation. The College enrolls nearly 3,500 undergraduate, graduate and continuing studies students from 49 states and 52 countries in fine arts, design, electronic media, art education, liberal arts, and professional studies degree and non-credit programs. With art and design programs ranked in the top ten by U.S. News and World Report, MICA is pioneering interdisciplinary approaches to innovation, research, and community and social engagement. Alumni and programming reach around the globe, even as MICA remains a cultural cornerstone in the Baltimore/Washington region, hosting hundreds of exhibitions and events annually by students, faculty and other established artists.